The Exorcist

Date and time
Sun 29th October 2023 at 7:00pm
Strong horror, sexualised violence, very strong language

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Audience Reaction: 94.4%

1973 (USA) (Horror)

Starring: Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair, Lee J Cobb, Jason Miller

Director: William Friedkin

Director William Friedkin died in August at the age 87. We are continuing our tribute to him, as a film director, by showing his most famous film, The Exorcist, which opened in December 1973.

The idea of the story is deceptively simple. Regan (Linda Blair), a 12-year-old girl, seems to be overtaken by some evil and unknowable force. Receiving no answers from modern medicine, her desperate mother, Chris (Ellen Burstyn), seeks out a priest, Father Karras (Jason Miller)

The Exorcist is often called the greatest horror film ever made. William Peter Blatty adapted the script from his 1971 novel.  Blatty was a devout Christian, and Friedkin described himself as an agnostic, and together, they gave the devil his due.

It’s the film’s graphic second half that has become notorious. However, it’s the slow, cool, controlled dread of the first hour that really grips.

 The Exorcist is a work of critical acclaim. It’s a morally serious drama  about God and Satan that manages to terrify even non-believers. Its meanings and intents are complicated, even contradictory. Maybe that’s why, after 50 years, The Exorcist is still scaring us. In 2023, it’s a must see with the rare opportunity to watch it on the big screen.

(2hr 12min)